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Article

An Investigation of Culicoides (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) as Potential Vectors of Medically and Veterinary Important Arboviruses in South Africa

1
Centre for Viral Zoonoses, Department Medical Virology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
2
HIV Pathogenesis Programme, The Doris Duke Medical Research Institute, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 4001, South Africa
3
Agricultural Research Council, Onderstepoort Veterinary Research, Pretoriat 0110, South Africa
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Eric Mossel
Viruses 2021, 13(10), 1978; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13101978
Received: 17 August 2021 / Revised: 27 September 2021 / Accepted: 28 September 2021 / Published: 1 October 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arbovirus Discovery)
Culicoides-borne viruses such as bluetongue, African horse sickness, and Schmallenberg virus cause major economic burdens due to animal outbreaks in Africa and their emergence in Europe and Asia. However, little is known about the role of Culicoides as vectors for zoonotic arboviruses. In this study, we identify both veterinary and zoonotic arboviruses in pools of Culicoides biting midges in South Africa, during 2012–2017. Midges were collected at six surveillance sites in three provinces and screened for Alphavirs, Flavivirus, Orthobunyavirus, and Phlebovirus genera; equine encephalosis virus (EEV); and Rhaboviridae, by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. In total, 66/331 (minimum infection rate (MIR) = 0.4) pools tested positive for one or more arbovirus. Orthobunyaviruses, including Shuni virus (MIR = 0.1) and EEV (MIR = 0.2) were more readily detected, while only 2/66 (MIR = 0.1) Middelburg virus and 4/66 unknown Rhabdoviridae viruses (MIR = 0.0) were detected. This study suggests Culicoides as potential vectors of both veterinary and zoonotic arboviruses detected in disease outbreaks in Africa, which may contribute to the emergence of these viruses to new regions. View Full-Text
Keywords: alphaviruses; flaviviruses; orthobunyviruses; Rhabdoviridae; Shuni virus; wildlife alphaviruses; flaviviruses; orthobunyviruses; Rhabdoviridae; Shuni virus; wildlife
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MDPI and ACS Style

Snyman, J.; Venter, G.J.; Venter, M. An Investigation of Culicoides (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) as Potential Vectors of Medically and Veterinary Important Arboviruses in South Africa. Viruses 2021, 13, 1978. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13101978

AMA Style

Snyman J, Venter GJ, Venter M. An Investigation of Culicoides (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) as Potential Vectors of Medically and Veterinary Important Arboviruses in South Africa. Viruses. 2021; 13(10):1978. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13101978

Chicago/Turabian Style

Snyman, Jumari, Gert J. Venter, and Marietjie Venter. 2021. "An Investigation of Culicoides (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) as Potential Vectors of Medically and Veterinary Important Arboviruses in South Africa" Viruses 13, no. 10: 1978. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13101978

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